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Features

  • The picture of six men in military uniforms titled “Griffin Brothers Return from War” posted on social media caught my attention. Three of the faces were familiar.
    Two of them, Carl and Raymond, lived nearby and I had known them for most of my life. Everette was quite often a visitor to a local grill, where, at times, he played his guitar and sang. He was extraordinarily talented in other ways as well. I was curious about the others and also wanted to know as much detail as was possible about each one.

  • At age 21, Heath Springs native Quay Powers says he was “scared to death” fighting his way up Old Baldy Hill during the Korean War.
    Powers was drafted into the Army in Oct. 1951 and served in the 2nd Infantry Division, Company F.
    Their first task was to relieve another company from Old Baldy so that company could go back to the reserve.
    “Old Baldy was a special hill because of the vision you had out front, and that’s why it was important,” Powers said. “It gave you a good viewpoint if the enemy did attack.”

  • Lancaster County Veteran News

  • Johnnie Wright walked to Charlotte from his family’s Lancaster farm in August 1940 to join the Army. He was 19 years old, had one dime in his pocket and two buddies with not a cent in theirs.
    The 5-foot-10 Wright weighed 137 pounds and was dressed in his Sunday suit, the only clothes he had that weren’t overalls.
    “I spent my dime to buy pencils to fill out the papers,” he said. “So then all three of us were flat broke.”
    The three men served during World War II. Two made it home alive.

  • After months of covering a remote Afghan outpost, journalist Sebastian Junger said the only thing that makes battle psychologically tolerable for soldiers is their brotherhood.
    To a group of veterans in Indian Land, that camaraderie plays just as important a role here at home.
    For the members of Tuesday Heroes, it all begins with “coffee and bull” at the CrossRidge Café in Indian Land.

  • Aaron Flynn took his last pain-free steps on a secluded path near Worms, Germany, on the afternoon of Feb. 21, 1945.
    He was a 19-year-old private first class from Lancaster, a machine gunner with the U.S. Army’s 6th Armored Division, 44th Armored Infantry Battalion.
    Flynn had been a late entry into World War II. His enlistment was rejected several times because of bad eyesight. But after his older brother was killed in action on Christmas Eve 1943, Flynn got into the Army.

  • Lancaster County recognized its local Vietnam veterans Saturday on the front lawn of the historic county courthouse with a long overdue “Welcome Home” celebration.
    “Let’s do what should’ve been done 50 years ago,” said Robin Ghent, Lancaster County veterans affairs director. “You did your job, you served with honor, and you did us proud. Welcome home.”
    When they returned home from Southeast Asia in the 1960s and ’70s, veterans were sometimes spit at, cursed out, degraded or ignored for their service.

  • This is the story of two Kershaw families joined at the hip for half a century. It’s a complicated tale, so you’ll have to pay attention, but it ends in a happy place.

    Fifty years ago, two brothers walked down the aisle of Thorn Hill Baptist Church in Kershaw, each escorting a sister to give away to two brothers standing at the altar. 

  • What do a pair of conspiracy-minded paranormal investigators, an affectionate San Francisco family and the “trial of the century” have in common?
    If you’re any sort of pop culture fanatic – a special fraternity of aficionados of which I’ve been a card-carrying member since the late 1980s – then you have an idea how they’re connected.

  • Whether jewelry is her thing or she’s crazy about decorating, she loves guns and gadgets or is the monogram queen, there are so many ways to make the woman in your life feel merry and bright at Christmas.
    Stores in the Lancaster area are stocked with gift items for every type of woman.
    For those who have a home décor habit, Winona’s Flowers and Gifts at 3177 Pageland Highway and the Purple Rooster at 106 E. Gay St. are good places to start.

  • The secret to finding a gift for a man is as simple as buying where his interests lie.
    Sportsman or spectator, grill-master or taste-tester, handyman or craftsman, there are so many options around Lancaster to find great gifts for him.  

    Guns and ammo
    R&G Sporting Goods, located at 1890 Great Falls Highway, is stocked with gifts for the outdoorsman with hunting and fishing gear. The most popular gifts of the season are guns and ammo.

  • Toys from the movies “Star Wars,” “Frozen,” “Minions” and “Jurassic World” are covering the shelves at local stores and are projected favorites for kids this year.
    It’s the most wonderful time of year for retailers as holiday spending is expected to reach a new average high of $805.65 per person on food items, decorations, gifts and more, up from $802.45 in 2014, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

  • It’s a cool, rainy Monday at the offices of Faith Presbyterian Church in Indian Land, but there are a lot of warm hearts as volunteers put the finishing touches on gift-filled shoeboxes that will be mailed to children around the world.
    Jan Sellards enjoys giving to nonprofit groups at the holidays. As well as supporting Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, she has adopted two Angel Tree families and shops for them locally.

  • Not everyone is a creative gift giver, and that’s why there are shops like The Southern Nest and Chickadee’s in Indian Land and the Happy Girl Boutique and Anna Laura’s Boutique in Lancaster.
    The stores pride themselves on having what other stores do not.
    “They have all kinds of fun stuff – the Brighton Collection in jewelry, nice hand soap, unique plaques with sayings…I could go on,” said Stephanie Lambert, an Indian Land resident who frequents The Southern Nest at 6280 Carolina Commons Drive.

  • Every year, Gallup asks people how much confidence they have in various institutions.
    The results aren’t surprising. Only 8 percent had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Big business scored 21 percent. That’s no better than TV news.
    Small business, on the other hand, came in second, with 67 percent of respondents considering it trustworthy. Only the U.S. military scored higher.

  • Barbie is back!
    The popular Barbie Keepsake Ornaments are back in stories after a two-year absence due to a licensing disagreement between Hallmark Cards Inc. and Mattel. The 2015 holiday editions are available for $19.95 at Annette’s Hallmark House at 925 N. Main St., Lancaster.
    For many, the Hallmark ornaments are not only keepsakes and collectibles. They are a Christmas tradition. The same goes for the city of Lancaster’s annual historic landmark ornaments.

  • The shops that sparkle and shine are stocked for Christmas.
    Among them are Garris Jewelers and Lancaster Jewelers, long established mom-and-pop retailers in Lancaster, and Vinesett’s Jewelers in Indian Land, who still believe giving a piece of jewelry for a gift means as much now as it did in the past.
    The cases are stocked with jewelry that will make a powerful statement, evoke emotion and make Christmas 2015 unforgettable.

  • The do-it-yourself Christmas basket is easier than ever with the help of two local stores that are in the business of making you smile.
    Reid’s Fine Foods at 9762 Charlotte Highway in Indian Land is a specialty food store with tasty treats that are packaged just right for a gift basket. Choose one from the store’s catalog or build your own to the recipients’ taste.
    The Purple Rooster at 106 E. Gay St. in Lancaster is known for its unique gifts and awesome displays that just tickle your creative spirit.

  • Whether your gift recipient plays, watches or both, there are several local businesses that make sports shopping a win-win.
    Gameday Sports and Awards, located at 953 N. Main St., Lancaster, offers sports uniforms, equipment and gifts, with a big selection of University of South Carolina Gamecock and Clemson University Tiger merchandise. Popular items include T-shirts, coolers and wallets, which are $25. Car tags are $20 and up. Team knit hats start at $12.

  • For that person in your life who does not need any more stuff, try an experiential gift this year.
    Ranging from tickets to a show or sporting event to a trip to the spa or a weekend away, experience gifts usually rate high on the happiness scale because they create good memories.
    Paula Thames, 75, treated her husband at Christmas to 12 rounds of golf at Carolina Lakes Golf Club in Indian Land before the golf-loving couple moved to Sun City  Carolina Lakes and became members.